Breaking 9 To 5 > Business, computers and ADHD: How Michael Peres turned the tables

Business, computers and ADHD: How Michael Peres turned the tables
articles  /   /  Last Modified: November 2, 2019

Intro

When you meet him today, Michael Peres appears to be every bit the self-made man. Having diversified mightily from his original calling as a software engineer, today he manages hundreds of clients spread across two startups and a number of other projects. Nor is he any stranger to social presence, with tens of thousands of followers on social media—and he makes all of this happen while traveling the world. 

However, his life wasn’t always so straightforward. Like so many talented, driven entrepreneurs, Peres had to learn to deal with adversity at a young age.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Mikey Peres | michaelperes.com (@mikeyperes) on

Early Days

A native of Montreal, Canada, Peres was just nine years of age when he was diagnosed with ADHD, among other learning disabilities. Things which were simple for other kids presented difficulties; everyday tasks like eating and going to school seemed at times to be insurmountable. 

To make matters worse, he had a complicated relationship with the medication which was prescribed to help alleviate the condition. Given 100mg of extended-release Ritalin (a drug of the stimulant class which is often prescribed for juvenile ADHD), he had to contend with side affects which most adults would struggle with—heart palpitations, depression, zombie-like lapses and even a sense of constant coldness were all par for the course.

‘When it [Ritalin] worked,’ recalls Peres, ‘I felt unstoppable. I finally understood what it meant to focus, and I had a goal, a target to aim for. I was determined to find a way to achieve that state without such a mental and physical cost.’ 

Private tutoring, in maths and English literature, was a necessity, although it left the young Peres feeling embarrassed. Moreover—in a lapse of confidentiality which now sounds startling—any passerby could see him take his daily Ritalin dose at the school’s office.

Next Steps

But this isn’t a sob story: it never has been. Peres’s life has always been about overcoming the obstacles he was faced with, and it’s that seemingly bottomless well of persistence that has allowed him to become the successful businessman he is today.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Mikey Peres | michaelperes.com (@mikeyperes) on

Take his love for computers, for example. The young Michael had an extremely deep-rooted passion for computers, wires, and all things technological, but was faced with challenge after challenge in trying to explore that desire. Having grown up in a religious community, like-minded individuals were hard to find and even harder to connect with, while a poor secular education (on top of the fact that there was no Internet connection in his home) left him without many stable avenues to pursue his passion.

Did that stop him? Like hell it did. Peres saved up his bar mitzvah money and used it to build 8 computers, purchase eight 20-foot usb cables, and tape wireless keys to the roof of his house—all inspired by a college paper written by students at Berkeley that discussed potential issues with the WEP encryption which was standard encryption (security protection) on most WiFi connections at the time. It didn’t take him long to crack every router on his block, creating a window through which he could peek into the world of science. This passion would come to serve as a foundation for everything he loved.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Mikey Peres | michaelperes.com (@mikeyperes) on

Later, he would find a way to make money in high school—namely, building and repairing more than 200 computers a year for his school, as well as helping out the other members of his community. Now 29, Peres felt like he was ‘light years’ behind his classmates when he left high school, largely due to the heavily religious education he received in the community he grew up in.

 

‘I remember starting college—I had to take Calculus when I could barely do algebra. On top of the learning disabilities, I found myself at a huge disadvantage. It could be so bad that it was useless to go to class,’ he remembers. 

 

But this challenge didn’t prove insurmountable either. Having learned quickly that the system simply wasn’t designed for people like himself, Peres took it upon himself to learn the material on his own. ‘I had someone teach me everything: Calc 1, Calc 2, Physics, CS 101, and linear algebra: the works. I paid a price in some respect because I was missing points on some things the teacher expected us to know from class, but this was an art I was quickly becoming good at.’ He smiles, warmly. ‘Soon enough, I was killing it all on my own. But the biggest thing was that I was also determined to taper off of Ritalin, for good.’

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Mikey Peres | michaelperes.com (@mikeyperes) on

Never Giving Up

At base, Michael Peres’s message is one of unending determination. His education was lacking, so he filled in the gaps for himself. The system didn’t work for him, so he worked around it. And when he came across the TV show Entourage, it was just another piece of the puzzle falling into place. 

‘I was going to California!’ He laughs. ’I didn’t even know what that meant. I arrived at the airport and asked for the next flight to California, which turned out to be directly to San Diego. After paying for the ticket, I had $97 to my name. I spent some of it on the in-flight WiFi and searched through Facebook for a couch I could crash on.’

From that moment forward, it was all about hustle. Having fallen in love with the West Coast, he was determined to make things work. It wasn’t long before he founded hexatiger.com and hectofox.com, managing a portfolio of hundreds of clients. Did Peres stop there, though?

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Mikey Peres | michaelperes.com (@mikeyperes) on

You can probably already guess the answer—no, of course he didn’t. Instead, he returned to school online in order to study bio-med engineering. ‘The person we know the least is ourselves,’ says Peres, allowing himself a rare moment to reflect. ‘I hated math, only to later fall in love with it. I hated biology, and now I’m in love with that too. I’ve always known I was meant to work with computers, but for me, CS goes a lot further than modems and keyboards—it’s a powerful tool to effectively communicate with science.’

Today, Tomorrow, And All The Rest

What’s next for Peres? He’s passionate about contributing to our understanding of human aging, and he’s got a five year plan for working towards potentially reversing its effects. However, he doesn’t want to just talk about his life—he wants people to be able to take some value from the struggles he’s been through into their own journey. ‘I care about offering value,’ he shrugs, ‘Not just flaunting my life.

‘The real gem is, I was fortunate enough to discover what I love, and to become completely addicted to the journey.’ Today, he shares a message of doing what you love and what you’re passionate about, and to never give up.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Mikey Peres | michaelperes.com (@mikeyperes) on

Fyodor Dostoevsky has a quote: ‘The darker the night, the brighter the stars.’ Existence on today’s Earth can be stressful, even overwhelming. But when you look at where Peres started out and where he stands today, it’s hard not to feel a little more hopeful about the world we live in.

You can connect with Michael on Instagram (@mikeyperes), Facebook and LinkedIn. Or you can learn more about Michael at www.michaelperes.com.

This article has been archived from Yahoo News.
Click here to view its source
Interviewees
Michael Peres
Software Engineer, Mathematician, Radio Host
Seattle, Washington

Michael is a software engineer, mathematician, and full-time traveller. He’s founded two start-ups as well as his own podcast, the Michael Peres podcast, which focuses on the latest news in the science, entrepreneurship, and technology worlds.

Read More

BE A PART OF THE MOVEMENT!

1

Subscribe To Our Exclusive Mail List

Stay in the loop! Get notified immediately of cheap flight errors, amazing flight deals, useful travel tips and much more.


2

Join The Travel Community

Get support and advice from our travel community! Here, we look out for one another providing support, advice and answering entrepeneurship and travel related questions!

3

Get Travel News, In a Flash

Follow our Breaking 9 To 5 Facebook page. Get notified on all entrepreneurship and travel related news, updates and deals.

@breaking9to5

Got Questions?
We've got answers!




Have a Question?